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Kane board OKs $50K for Lauzen’s social media outreach project

GENEVA – Kane County’s government soon will launch a push to increase the size of the county’s social media network and improve the county’s image among the people who live and work in it.

The Kane County Board on Tuesday authorized Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen to spend as much as $50,000 to pay as many as two contracted employees over the next 6 months to craft a “community outreach” plan.

Lauzen said details of the plan will be worked out in coming weeks, after he hires people to fill the positions of “community outreach coordinators.”

But he said he believes the project should center on social media, through established media, including Facebook and the county’s website.

Lauzen said the job of the outreach coordinators would be to encourage the public to see the county government as “a clubhouse” and a gathering place to share ideas among “the county’s different constituencies who are doing what they enjoy doing naturally.”

He told the board the project is designed to improve the county’s image, increase enthusiasm for Kane County among residents and local business owners, and make the county more attractive to those seeking a place to open new businesses.

By doing so, he said the burden of financing public services, such as road maintenance and court operations, can be shared among more taxpayers, reducing the burden on existing taxpayers.

Lauzen said the position would be paid for through annual savings the county has reaped from decisions he made to cancel $98,000 in county contracts with lobbyists and computer consultants. 

He also assured County Board members that he has not yet decided who he will hire, despite rumors to the contrary.

“I have no horse in this race,” Lauzen said.

The measure passed, 23-1, with County Board member Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles, voting no.

Lauzen said the coordinators will submit a report to the County Board in six months, at which time, the County Board will decide if the project is worth funding permanently.

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